Hands on: SAP Business ByDesign 2.5

Start frei für Business ByDesign 2.5 (Foto: Frank Völkel)
SAP Business ByDesign 2.5 (photo: Frank Völkel)

At the end of July 2010, version 2.5 of the SAP Business ByDesign solution is set to hit the market. It will be the third major update since SAP Business ByDesign was released at the end of 2007 and since feature pack 1.2. The package comprises 35 business processes as of feature pack 2.0 last year – and customers can simply call these processes using their Internet browser and then configure them. Basically, it’s a “mini” business suite, aimed primarily at small businesses and midsize companies.

Unlike a conventional on-site installation, the software is available on-demand through the Internet, with an app for mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads also planned for the second half of the year. Visitors to the SAP conference SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida, in May were able to get a glimpse of a prototype.

Its uncluttered user interface enables SAP Business ByDesign 2.5 to get users off to a quick start with selected functions. It includes all the core functions for enterprise resource management, project management, and sales management. If a company undergoes restructuring or if individual processes change, any alterations or additions can be made using the browser.

On the iPad: Business ByDesign 2.5 (photo: Frank Völkel)
On the iPad: Business ByDesign 2.5 (photo: Frank Völkel)

In contrast with previous announcements, the rental costs for SAP Business ByDesign remain reasonable. License costs are U.S.$149 per user per month, and the minimum number of users in each contract has been cut from 25 to 10.

For many CIOs in the midmarket, the question of where their company’s business data is stored is a critical one. After all, the data ends up in a data center off the company premises – at SAP in Walldorf, Germany, in the case of SAP Business ByDesign data. With the advent of SAP Business ByDesign 2.5, customers can choose which type of data storage best fits their needs: They can either rent a server of their own (single tenancy) or share a server with other business customers who use the same software (multi-tenancy).

SAP Business ByDesign also has a completely new feature in the form of individual tailoring, which can from now on be performed by SAP partners in a development environment.

And it’s also possible to take SAP Business ByDesign 2.5 for a test drive. You will need to register before you can actually access the test data.

Companies such as ResearchPoint in Austin, Texas, are among the pilot customers using SAP Business ByDesign – and ResearchPoint’s IT department comprises just one employee.